Flowers& - March 2014

Page 1

Flowers& MARCH 2014 $5.50

to Mom, with Love For Mothers Everywhere

Pg 24

Fun and Fancy Prom Flowers Know Your Prom Customer

Pg 36 Pg 52

contents MARCH 2014

features 16 30th Annual Flowers& Design Contest Announcing this year’s theme: Happy Anniversary!

24 International Mom Designs created to celebrate moms around the world. Floral design by Rich Salvaggio AIFD, AAF, PFCI, inspired by design concepts from Tim Farrell AIFD, AAF, PFCI Photography by Ron Derhacopian

pg 25

36 Fun & Fancy Creative twists and practical techniques for prom night. Floral design by Kevin Ylvisaker AIFD, PFCI Photography by Ron Derhacopian

52 Your Prom Customer A portrait in facts and figures. 4 MARCH 2014

ON THE COVER Could two stems of hydrangea, five anthuriums, and a handful of dusty miller foliage make a more dramatic impression? For more on this design, see page 28; for more design ideas from Tim Farrell AIFD, AAF, PFCI and Rich Salvaggio AIFD, AAF, PFCI, inspired by cultures and exotic locations around the world, see “International Mom,” pages 24-35.


departments 10

Focus on Design A Sparkling Prom Bouquet By Rich Salvaggio AIFD, AAF, PFCI


pg 11

Creative Edge Say Spring with Nests By Hitomi Gilliam AIFD


Principles & Elements Element of Design: Line By Kevin Ylvisaker AIFD, PFCI


Fresh Focus Snapdragons


Shop Profile Dr. Delphinium, Dallas, Texas By Marianne Cotter


Profit Boosters Changing Phone Habits


Where to Buy


Industry Events


Advertiser Links


What’s In Store


Wholesaler Connection

Flowers& Volume 35, Number 3 (ISSN 0199-4751). Published monthly by Teleflora, 11444 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90064, 800-321-2665, fax 310-966-3610. Subscription rates: U.S., 1 year, $66.00. Canada, 1 year, $90.00 (US currency only); Canadian GST registration number R127851293. Other foreign countries, 1 year, $102.00 (US currency only). Single issues, $5.50 each prepaid. Periodicals postage paid at Los Angeles, Calif., and at additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to Flowers&, PO Box 16029, North Hollywood, CA 91615-9871. Copyright © 2014 by Teleflora. Printed in U.S.A.

6 MARCH 2014

pg 12

pg 14

Flowers& Publisher Editor Art Director National Advertising Director

Rich Salvaggio AIFD, AAF, PFCI Bruce Wright Tony Fox Peter Lymbertos

Publication Coordinator

Elinor Cohen

Contributing Editor

Bill McKinley


U.S. Subscriptions


Foreign Subscriptions




On the Internet

ADVISORY BOARD Teleflora Education Specialists Susan Ayala


SAO Professional Design, Loma Linda, Calif., Tom Bowling

Fairfield, Ohio, Tim Farrell AIFD, PFCI,



Kansas City, Mo., Hitomi


Phoenix Flower Shops, Phoenix, Ariz., Vonda LaFever AIFD, PFCI, AZMF,

Essexville, Mich., Julie Poeltler Iowa, Jerome Raska

Tom Simmons


Dallas, Texas,

Surroundings Events and Floral, Verona, Wisc., Alex Jackson

Fla., Joyce Mason-Monheim



Vancouver, B.C., Canada, Bob Hampton AIFD, PFCI,


Farrell’s Florist, Drexel Hill, Penn., Bert Ford

Ford Flower Co., Salem, N.H., Jim Ganger

John Hosek AIFD, PFCI,





Tucson, Ariz., Darla Pawlak


Fountain of Flowers & Gifts, Lone Tree,


Blumz... by JR Designs, Detroit, Mich.,

Three Bunch Palms Productions, Palm Springs, Calif., Gerard Toh

Garden Trade Services, Sherman Oaks, Calif., Cindy Tole, Botanica Flowers & Gifts,

Greensboro, N.C., Kevin Ylvisaker AIFD, PFCI, Mukwonago, Wisc.



Teleflora, Oklahoma City, Okla., Tom Butler

Teleflora, Oklahoma City, Okla., Carol J. Caggiano

Jeffersonton, Va., Wilton Hardy


Palm Beach, Fla., Rocky Pollitz




A. Caggiano, Inc.,

JWH Design and Consultant, West

Blue Jay, Calif., Elizabeth Seiji


Edelweiss Flower Boutique, Santa Monica, Calif.

Customer service: For service on your magazine subscription, including change of address, please write to Flowers&, P.O. Box 16029, No. Hollywood, CA 91615-9871, enclosing a recent address label. For faster service, call 818-286-3128; Teleflora members call 800-421-2815.


focus on design


Floral design by Rich Salvaggio AIFD, AAF, PFCI

Photography by Ron Derhacopian

A jeweled armature provides the foundation for a sparkling prom bouquet. When you make the armature in


advance, it’s very quick to add flowers for the prom. The armature includes brooches and buckles added to Spot On jewelry stems


using UGlu. This makes it easy to remove the brooches later on, so they can be reused or simply treasured as keepsakes.


1. Add a UGlu Dot to the metal disk at the end of a Spot On stem. Fold the UGlu Dot in so that it is contained within the area of the disk. 2. Attach a jewel of your choosing to the Spot On stem with the UGlu. 3. The Aurora handle includes a sturdy stem topped with two disks, each perforated with holes. 4. To insert Spot On stems through both disks in the Aurora handle, you need to wiggle them a little. They will hold in place temporarily, but adding floral tape is a good way to stabilize the armature, even before you add flowers.



5. In the finished bouquet, fresh flowers and foliage are inserted among the jewels and secured with floral tape. The tape is covered with ribbon; streamers add the final touch. b

For product information, see Where to Buy, page 63.


MARCH 2014 11

creative edge

A freshly built robin’s nest with its small, delicate blue eggs is a classic sign of spring. Each of the nests seen here was handmolded out of wet moss and wrapped with silver bullion to keep its shape, then individually decorated with lichen, lichen twigs, or cedar strips. The eggs were made with light aqua-colored modeling clay, rolled in moss dust to give them a speckled look. Each of the three designs illustrates a different way to arrange flowers with plants.



Floral design by Hitomi Gilliam AIFD

Photography by Philippe Martin-Morice

▲ ▲

For product information, see Where to Buy, page 63.

AMONG BULBS Flowering bulbs are another classic symbol of spring. Here, amaryllis and paper-white narcissus—nine bulbs in all—were washed to remove the dirt and planted in white Deco Beads inside a glass bowl. Moss is used to close the gaps between some of the bulbs inside the container, which is partly covered with birch bark on the outside. A four-inch pot of calocephalus, a gray lichen-like plant, is also planted among the Deco Beads. Deciduous huckleberry branches help support the bulb stems and also host the bird nest. Assorted sedums serve as groundcover to add extra interest. IN A WILD GARDEN Above right, among lichen branches placed horizontally like fallen limbs, a bird has crafted a nest of moss and twigs. Wild willow tangles over and around a giant, overgrown echeveria plant; an old, naturalized bed of ranunculus bulbs is surrounded by clusters of skimmia, eryngium, naked seeded eucalyptus, and ‘Green Trick’ dianthus, for a riot of texture. All these are arranged in floral foam, while succulents and a calocephalus plant are mossed and tucked around them. PERCHED IN A TILLANDSIA TREE Lichen branches and other woodsy materials are planted in a brick of wet floral foam, placed in a low bowl with a barky texture; the foam is partially covered with cedar bark, which contributes to the feeling of a woodland setting. The woodland floor is covered with tulips, variegated boxwood, pussy willow, leucadendron, and eryngium. Echeveria and sedum rosettes and trailing succulents add extra texture. The nest sits high in the lichen branches, out of harm’s way. b

MARCH 2014 13

principles & elements

•❊ •



Guide to Floral Design, line is defined as “the vital visual path that directs eye movement through a composition.” Where do the lines in this design lead your eye? Up! And perhaps, also back in toward the center, in the case of the slightly in-curving calla stems. The hala foliage is a good example of static line: it reinforces the strong lines of the container and the overall form of the design. “Static” sounds like a bad thing, but here, the predominance of static lines is part of what makes this design calming and restful. At the base of the design, your eye might be directed to wander here and there by the implied lines leading from one round craspedia to the next. These can also be called dynamic lines, since they weave their way in opposition to the form. Being relatively weak, they add a little tension to the design, but not too much—just enough! b


Floral design by Kevin Ylvisaker AIFD, PFCI

Photography by Ron Derhacopian

For product information, see Where to Buy, page 63.


t’s hard to believe—but 2014 marks the 30th year for the Flowers& Design Contest! Every year since 1984, Flowers& readers have sent in photographs as entries— and every year, Flowers& readers have chosen the top three winners, using the ballot card bound into the August issue of the magazine. Now: Imagine it’s your own anniversary! The kind you celebrate with a spouse or significant other. It doesn’t matter exactly

how many years you’ve been together. The point is, you’re going to lay the table for a romantic dinner for two, and you need just the right arrangement to set the tone. What’ll it be? Your entry should be a photograph of just the design itself— no place settings or table accessories, other than a plain tablecloth. You have a budget of no more than $40 wholesale. How will you celebrate the occasion? Share your anniversary with us—and we’ll share ours with you!

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY 30th Annual Flowers&



Send a photo of a design that expresses this year’s theme, “Happy Anniversary!” The design must feature fresh flowers primarily. The wholesale cost of materials must not exceed $40. So that we can see the bouquet closer up in the photo, it should be no longer than three feet in any dimension. Make sure the entire bouquet is visible within the frame of the photo.



1st Place:


2nd Place:


3rd Place:


MORE ABOUT THE PHOTO We suggest you photograph your design against a plain, neutral background. Do not include props or persons in the photo. Send only one photo. Do not mount the photo, and do not write your name or address on the back. The photo may be either a digital photo or a high-quality print, at least 5 by 7 inches. Digital photos must be taken at a high resolution and should be sent on a CD; digital photos must also be accompanied by a print, one with good color accuracy. Please call us with any questions at 800-321-2654, extension 3590. SUBMITTING YOUR MATERIALS

Each entry must be accompanied by a fully completed entry card (at right). Photocopies of the entry card will be accepted. Only one submission per contestant is allowed. Sorry, we are unable to acknowledge receipt of each entry. All photo-


graphs become property of Flowers& and will not be returned. Send to: Flowers& Design Contest, 11444 West Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90064.

JUDGING Winners will be selected through two phases of judging:

Phase 1 A preliminary screening by a panel of expert judges determines the 10 finalists. Entries are judged anonymously, according to the originality, color harmony, balance, mechanics, and overall design of each arrangement as well as on how well they meet the requirements of this year’s theme. Finalists are notified of their status as such by May 30. Phase 2 The original photographs of the top 10 entries are featured in the August issue of Flowers&. Once again, the designers’ identities are not revealed. Voting by number, the magazine’s readers choose the first-, second-, and third-place winners from the 10 finalists’ designs, using a postage-paid ballot card included with the August issue. The winners are announced in the November issue of Flowers&.

DEADLINE Entries must be postmarked by Monday, March 31.

fresh focus

by Bruce Wright

Snapdragons Antirrhinum majus

Available yearround, snapdragons are an underappreciated workhorse.


or anyone who grew up with an old-fashioned flowerbed nearby, snapdragons are likely to evoke childhood memories of a brightly colored, slightly fragrant garden flower with “jaws” that could be made to snap open and shut. Regrettably, the romance and whimsy of such associations may not come so readily to mind for most florists. Why is that? Is it just because, as

18 www.flowersandmagazine.comersand

Availability: Year-round Colors: White, pink, yellow, orange, red, burgundy, and bicolors Vase life: 5 to 14 days Ethylene sensitivity: High Stem length: 24-36 inches Bunch size: 10 stems

spike flowers of merely intermediate length, snapdragons rarely take center stage in floral designs? Or is it precisely because snapdragons are so useful and available year-round, in just the colors that are needed? Because they are annuals, typically grown from seed, production of snapdragons can be timed to meet florists’ needs in a way that is true of few other flowers, other than bulb flowers. Growers can supply the market with a flood of pink, purple, and lavender snaps for Mother’s Day, white snaps for wedding season, orange snaps in the fall, and red ones in abundance for Christmas and Valentine’s. And while most florists tend to rely

oon the staple, solid colors, new vvarieties offer exciting mixed hhues.

WHERE… If you have snapW ddragons in your shop right nnow, it’s likely that they came ffrom one of three places: centtral California, South America, oor southern Ontario, Canada. TTo bloom and color up, snapdragons are unusual in preferring a long, light-filled day, combined with rather cool

MADE IN THE SHADE In Central California, the weather is mild enough that snapdragons can be grown outdoors under shade, like these at Skyline Flowers, known for its “Snap City, USA” brand.

fresh focus temperatures, especially at night. “They’re a funny crop that way,” says Ralph DeBoer of Rosa Flora Limited (, a Canadian grower serving wholesale distributors in Ontario, southwestern Quebec, and the northeastern USA. In Ontario, the cool nights come naturally, and day length is extended artificially with grow lights.

butter item, just like a rose or a carnation or a chrysanthemum,” continues Joe, “and the only way to do that is to have the supply to back it up. We wanted to become for snapdragons like Glad-A-Way Gardens is with gladiolus.” And so, a severe winter storm was responsible for giving snapdragons a higher profile in the market.

…AND WHEN Growers also keep up a yearround supply by switching varieties from one season to the next. One red variety might be better adapted to growing conditions in winter, while another blooms better in summer. “Unless you’ve got a trained eye, you won’t know the difference—all you see is a red snap—but we’re changing seeds by season to make sure we’ve got the best quality all year long,” says Ralph. Still, if there is one best time to buy snapdragons, “it’s springtime and early summer,” says Ralph, “especially between March and July. That’s when Nature starts giving you longer days while you still have some cool nights. You can’t beat Mother Nature.”

FROM START TO A FINE FINISH As mentioned earlier, snapdragons are unusual in being annuals grown from seed. Most cut flowers are grown from perennials—plants that continue to produce flowers season after season, year after year. With snapdragons, “we germinate the seeds four or five days in a cool, dark, humid chamber,” says Ralph at Rosa Flora. “Then we move the cracked seeds from the germination chamber to a propagation house, where they will propagate to a plant plug that’s about two inches tall. And from there we transplant it into a production house where it grows to a flower. “One advantage of starting from seed,” he goes on, “is that you’re able to tailor your production to the market. If I have a 12-week crop from plug to harvest, then 12 weeks prior to a holiday like Mother’s Day I’m able to plant a lot more snapdragons than at other times—which is different from, say, a gerbera, where you’ve got plants that are producing roughly the same quantity of flowers all year long. With snaps, I can also plant whatever colors will be most in demand at that time.” The other advantage is quality control: “We go from seed to plug to production flower all the way to our wholesaler, so we’re in control of the entire chain up to that point,” says Ralph. “We’ve also got the opportunity to select. If we have a tray of 288 snapdragon plugs, we may only plant the best 95% of them, sorting based on quality.” Skyline similarly propagates from seed and delivers direct to wholesale distributors.

SNAP CITY, USA In Canada, snapdragons are grown in greenhouses. In central California, they are more likely to be raised outdoors, but under the shade and protection of hoop houses. The daylight in this region is long enough all year round for growing snaps without grow lights. Near the coast, the evenings are consistently cool. One of the best-known snapdragon growers in central California is Skyline Flowers (, with farms in Nipomo and Oxnard. Skyline devotes more than half its acreage to snapdragons, marketed under the “Snap City, USA” brand. “About 18 years ago, we were growing a lot of field flowers, like gypsophila, statice, stock,” says Skyline’s Joe Goldberg. “We went through some horrendous weather that did so much damage it almost put us out of business. We had always done a good job growing snaps and we had always sold out. So we decided to put up more structures and expand the snapdragon business. “Our goal was to make it a bread and

20 www.flowersandmagazine.comersand

SPEAKING OF QUALITY Snapdragons are typically graded by stem length, but savvy buyers consider a variety of parameters:

FAVORITES AND NEWCOMERS New snapdragon varieties from Ball Seed were on display at the Colombian flower trade exhibition, Proflora, in 2013. They included brand-new ‘Purple Twist’ (top photo), a striking and slightly fragrant variety with a stripe pattern that varies with the growing environment: the white stripes are more dense when the flowers are grown in warmer greenhouse conditions; the purple is more prominent when they are grown under cool conditions outdoors or under hoops. Snaps in the Trumpet series feature large florets with an open-faced trumpet form; they include ‘Trumpet Tangerine’ (bottom photo) and ‘Trumpet Frosty Rose’. Other featured varieties from Ball Seed included attractive bicolors such as ‘Potomac Lavender’ and ‘Maryland Appleblossom’.

fresh focus stem diameter, for example, or even the mass of the snapdragon stem. “Our quality control people periodically take samples and measure the mass of the stem in grams to make sure it meets a minimum standard,” says Ralph. “We also have a standard of a minimum of eight blossoms per stem; most of the year, it’s more. The two main categories of snaps are large and medium, and because of the way we grow we can get 90% large most of the year, and the other 10% medium, again based on stem length, spike length, and the mass of the product.”

TLC FROM CANADA From Ontario, Canada, premium snapdragons are supplied yearround to wholesale distributors, both in Canada and over a wide area in the northeastern United States, by Rosa Flora Limited, thanks to sophisticated greenhouse growing techniques. Snapdragons like a combination of cool temperatures, especially at night, and long days; at Rosa Flora, the daylight is lengthened artificially over the Canadian winter with grow lights. Rosa Flora snaps are started from seed; once the seeds have germinated in a germination chamber and been nurtured in a propagation house to produce two-inch plant plugs, they can be transferred to the production greenhouses. Upon harvest, the snaps are placed in buckets and shipped upright, which keeps them hydrated and prevents geotropic bending of the stems.

22 www.flowersandmagazine.comersand

STRAIGHT TO HEAVEN Snaps are geotropic: they have a strong tendency to bend upward, away from gravity. That’s fine when they are growing, or as long as they are stored and shipped upright, in buckets or hampers. The problem comes when they are packed for shipping in boxes where they lie horizontally in a plane or on a truck. If you let a snapdragon lie on your worktable horizontally for an hour or more—not that you would ever do such a thing—you will observe detectable bending of the stem. Most florists and designers want snapdragon stems that are straight, not bent. Growers like Skyline and Rosa Flora tout the benefits of their regional distribution systems. Snapdragons are harvested, bunched, and placed vertically in buckets, packed in water and delivered on trucks to wholesale florist customers. They are never packed horizontally in boxes, and remain hydrated all the way from the farm to the wholesaler. Snapdragons grown in South America may have to be dry-packed for shipping, but some importers pack them upright in hampers, rather than horizontally in boxes, to avoid geotropic bending. That’s the case with snapdragons from Miami distributor Golden Flowers, for example, according to Golden’s Jody Whitekus. WAITING IN THE WINGS Breeders have come up with some spectacular snapdragons that buyers have not yet picked up on, says Joe at Skyline: “It’s still real consistent that white is the top seller,” then solid colors

like pink, yellow, orange, and red. Striking bicolors are available, but not popular (white and pink ‘Apple Blossom’ and orange, yellow and pink ‘Talisman’ are the exceptions). Nor have buyers shown enthusiasm as yet for novelties like trumpet-flowered snapdragons. “We’ve grown them, they look pretty, we’ve put them in mixed boxes, but we don’t have customers coming back and saying, ‘Can you get me more of those?’ ” Could it be that it’s time for snapdragons to shake the stereotype of bread-and-butter flowers and take on some trendy plumage? It may be a challenge for a flower whose botanical name, Antirrhinum majus, means, “Like a big nose.” But just maybe, with the right little push, it could be—a snap! b

SNAPDRAGONS • Look for straight, unbending stems with at least two, but no more than five of the lowest flowers open. Check for brown or black blemishes on the leaves, dropped flowers, or mechanical damage such as broken tips. Ask about whether the flowers have been treated to protect against damage from ethylene. The flower spike should be densely covered with brightly colored blooms, spaced not too far apart. • Handling the stems carefully, remove any leaves that will fall below the water line, but do not remove more leaves than necessary. Re-cut the stem ends and place in a flower-food solution. • Store upright at 32-34 degrees F. Snapdragon stems are strongly geotropic, meaning they will bend away from the pull of gravity. If laid on a table horizontally, they will begin to bend upward in as little as an hour. Treatment with antiethylene products and storage at 32 degrees F both help to prevent bending.

International Mom Designs created to celebrate moms around the world.

Floral design by Rich Salvaggio AIFD, AAF, PFCI, inspired by design concepts from Tim Farrell AIFD, AAF, PFCI

For product information,


Photography by Ron Derhacopian

see Where to Buy, page 63.

DUTCH TREAT Above, a dramatic bouquet of impressively large, peach-colored amaryllis is arranged in foam in a low, wide cylinder that sits inside a larger cylinder holding Deco Beads. The interior cylinder, though not visible in the photo, is wrapped with waterproof ribbon to hide the foam. The Deco Beads are a blend of clear and raspberry, a striking complement to the distinctive hue of the amaryllis.

JEWELS OF INDIA The rich, vivid colors typical of fashion and festivities on the Indian subcontinent are represented at right with marigolds, gerberas, hydrangea, Florigene carnations, and green spray mums. A mound of these flowers is wrapped with purple and hot pink Mega Bead wire and then draped with cascading garlands of stacked orchids, attached with UGlu to more of the Mega Bead wire.


MARCH 2014 25

International Mom


MOTHER AFRICA At left, an elegant and surprising palette of green, white, gray and silver serves to suggest the African savannah, with proteas, leucadendron, succulents, brunia, eucalyptus, and a burst of grevillea foliage, all in two containers that come together to compose one design. Pearl beads at the centers of the echeveria rosettes add a feminine touch and harmonize with the silver brunia berries and with the flared galvanized containers.

THE ALL-AMERICAN Above, a floral medley in tints and tones of pink, from bubblegum to fuchsia, gets a trendy update with jeweled brooches, which are secured with UGlu Dashes so they can be safely removed when the flowers are gone. Some are attached to Spot On stems and placed among the flowers, others to the hobnail planter. Adding interest to the floral selection are azalea flowers, a Mother’s Day favorite, cut from a plant.

MARCH 2014 27

International Mom

ARABIAN NIGHTS Above, white flowers and silver wires that form a graceful crescent may suggest the Arabian desert by moonlight. The flowers are arranged inside a tall clear plate-glass vase, filled with two upright bricks of foam, shaved on the side and the top to fit inside the vase, soaked and wrapped in waterproof paper. The crescent shape is echoed with the bare stems of anthuriums, secured and controlled with UGlu Dashes.

GIRASOLI Visitors to Tuscany and other parts of Italy may fondly recall magnificent fields of blooming sunflowers. At right, the sunflowers’ natural foliage is supplemented with salal leaves, in a fresh green color that reinforces circles of green corsage pins, added to a few of the sunflower centers for a gleaming, gemlike yet subtle accent.


MARCH 2014 29

International Mom

30 28

RISING SUN At left, yellow pincushion proteas may recall the iconic emblem of Japan in a simple, graceful, ikebana-style design. Fatsia leaves provide a backdrop for the pincushions; calla blooms are tied to a branch of faux manzanita with copper bullion, while lily grass reinforces the elegant lines of the calla stems. A matte gray ceramic planter complements the yellow flowers and blends beautifully with the manzanita and with pebbles covering the foam.

SWISS DELIGHT Reminiscent of snowy alpine heights, the Swiss national colors of blue and white are represented with a hand-tied bouquet of gerberas, roses, hydrangea and scabiosa, draped with light blue button wire.

MARCH 2014 31

MUM’S THE WORD Ever since the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, fun and fanciful fascinators have been solidly back in fashion among English mums (of which Catherine is now one). Generally equipped with a comb, clip, or headband, they are easily incorporated into flower arrangements—like this one featuring flowers reminiscent of an English garden (larkspur, ‘Cool Water’ roses, scented geranium leaves, and dusty miller).

VIVA MEXICO A lidded pottery bowl makes a charming keepsake and a clever container for a sandwich-style design with a flowered corolla. To make a similar design with any lidded bowl, fill the bowl with foam (to the lip or a little above) and add four wooden stakes, placed so they can later serve as supports for the lid. Insert curly willow tips in a radial pattern, like spokes in a wheel, around the outside of the foam. Bend the willow back and weave it into a wreath, adding blue aluminum wire and using the wire to secure the tips to each other. When you have a tight wreath shape around the outside of the bowl, you can add more decorative wire, including beaded wire. You’re weaving an armature so it’s secure, but loose enough to add the calla stems last, inserting them through the willow into the foam. Fill the rest of the foam with sunflowers and roses, and lower the lid so it rests on the stakes.


International Mom


xxxxxx xxx xxx xxxxx xxxx xxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxx xxx xxx

xxxxx xxxx xxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxx xxx xxx xxxxx xxxx xxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxx xxx xxx xxxxx xxxx xxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxx xxx xxx xxxxx xxxx xxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxx xxx xxx xxxxx xxxx xxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxx xxx xxx xxxxx xxxx xxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxx xxx xxx xxxxx xxxx xxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx


xxxxxx xxx xxx xxxxx xxxx xxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxx xxx xxx

xxxxx xxxx xxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxx xxx xxx xxxxx xxxx xxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxx xxx xxx xxxxx xxxx xxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxx xxx xxx xxxxx xxxx xxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxx xxx xxx xxxxx xxxx xxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxx xxx xxx xxxxx xxxx xxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxx xxx xxx xxxxx xxxx xxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx

MARCH 2014 33

International Mom

34 28

FERNS AND FEATHERS At left, a cascade of flowers, foliages and feathers evokes the rich biodiversity of the Costa Rican rainforest. Sheltering umbrella fern, parakeet heliconia and cymbidiums dominate the composition; orange tulips bring vivid color to the cascade, along with heather, maidenhair fern, eucalyptus, and a ferny kind of lycopodium. To give a lightly curling line to pheasant feathers, use the dull side of your knife on the spine.

EMERALD ISLE Any mom of Irish descent will surely warm to this garden of green and white flowers growing among fallen branches. The realistic faux branches, chopped down from their original length, are hollow and therefore lightweight, easily supported on the wide, clear Lomey dish. Bells of Ireland, tulips, heather, and a spray of white mini cymbidiums spring upward; more bells of Ireland florets nestle at the base of the design, along with pavéd green carnations, ‘Green Trick’ dianthus, and cream-colored wool fabric, which adds another, contrasting texture and harmonizes with the color scheme. Loops of green midollino match the green carnations. b

MARCH 2014 35

36 AUGUST 2010

fun ancy f

Creative twists and practical techniques for prom night.

The bar is high for prom flowers! Prom goers are looking for custom creations with glitz, romance, imagination and flair. And that’s good news for florists! But how to save on labor time and still offer prom customers that artistic, hand-crafted look? Read on!

Floral design by Kevin Ylvisaker AIFD, PFCI

Photography by Ron Derhacopian

Dresses: Alfred Angelo,

For product information,

Hair and makeup: Marybeth Bagonghasa

Models: Gabrielle Wrede, Julia Rogatneva

see Where to Buy, page 63.

THE BIG EASY A big ribbon bow makes corsage mechanics a breeze. Kevin chose gold mesh ribbon with sparkles for the foundation of a corsage that also features gleaming gold leaves and yellow flowers. He made the big bow with long streamers and tied it onto a semi-rigid, frosted gold bracelet, then simply glued the flowers—callas, spray roses, and craspedia—and gold leaves into the bow, first dipping the stems into floral adhesive.

AUGUST2014 2010 37 MARCH

fun f ancy STEAM PUNK A bracelet decked with silver studs, black lace, black chain, and feathers with rhinestones: all these materials combine for a “steam punk” look that’s very much on-trend. To make the foundation bracelet, Kevin joined two strips of one-inch flat wire in silver and matte copper (see the how-to photo on page 51). He cut the spikey triple beads from a bracelet where they were strung on elastic and glued them to the flat wire base, then added the remaining materials with floral adhesive. The floral cluster incorporates cymbidium throats and petals, glued in separately, with diminutive mokara blooms on top. CHAIN REACTION Pendant strands of silver chain enhance a dazzling floral necklace along with a floral cluster composed of two cymbidium orchids, one mounted on top of the other, and additional jeweled ornaments, including a butterfly with gleaming silver mesh wings. Kevin folded UGlu Dashes in half and laid them along the floral necklace in front in order to attach the silver chain; other materials are glued in with floral adhesive.


AUGUST 2010 38

AUGUST2014 2010 39 MARCH

fun f ancy

40 AUGUST 2010

PRETTY IN PINK At left, a delicate, diminutive floral cluster in shades of pale pink and lavender gains value and substance from a custom-made, beautifully crafted bracelet, which can be made ahead. It comprises coils of flat wire, aluminum wire and Diamond Wire (see our how-to photo, page 51). The wire coils make it easy to glue ribbon and flowers— orchids, nerines, and hyacinth florets—into the top. POPPIN’ FRESH Above, a bow of pink and orange ribbon, tied to a simple bracelet fashioned from one-inch flat wire in matte copper, provides the quick and easy foundation for gluing spray roses, gem sprays, and feathers with attached rhinestones, for a colorful, classic wrist corsage. MESH MAGIC At right, a bow of white wide-mesh ribbon beautifully complements two phalaenopsis orchid blooms, which have been cut apart and reconstituted as part of the bow—the petals and speckled throats glued separately into it with floral adhesive—along with Diamante pins. The bow in turn is glued to a bracelet made of one-inch silver flat wire, covered with black and white striped grosgrain ribbon. Narrow black streamers and dangling rhinestone garlands (Dazzleline Chain) complete the high-fashion look. 41 AUGUST 2010

MARCH 2014 41

TWICE THE IMPACT At left, a double bracelet makes for an inventive twist on the traditional wrist corsage. Black chain links the twin bracelets and unifies the look, while dangling black chain “streamers” add movement. The chain is glued directly to black metal bracelets with UGlu; flowers are likewise glued to the bracelets, using floral adhesive. DRIPPING WITH PEARLS Above, midollino extensions, weighted at the ends with pearl and rhinestone brooches, lend movement and extra sparkle to a romantic wrist corsage that incorporates a gold calla boutonniere holder along with fresh callas, cymbidium orchids, and hyacinth florets. Kevin began by gluing two criss-crossed pieces of midollino directly to the glittering bracelet with UGlu. He snipped eight of the brooches from their stems and sandwiched two of them onto each midollino tip. The remaining materials are glued into place with floral adhesive. PRINCESS FOR A DAY To fill a scepter with flowers, Kevin cut the handle off a caged-foam bouquet holder and UGlu’d the holder into the scepter cup. He inserted baby’s breath into the foam first, then rhinestone brooches, white callas and orchids, and finally loops of white midollino. 42

fun f ancy

MARCH 2014 43

fun f ancy


DOUBLE THE ROMANCE With a strong foundation, it’s easy to add an abundance of flowers and bling for a rich, romantic look. At left, Kevin began with not one but two rhinestone bracelets side by side, connected only by a UGlu Strip laid across both of them on the top. A large brooch in the shape of a circle with a bar in the center is pressed into the UGlu Strip and becomes the gluing surface for other materials, added with floral adhesive: smaller round rhinestone brooches, stemmed rhinestones, dusty miller leaves, callas, spray roses, and hyacinth florets. FLUFFY BUTTONS To create the richly textured, jewel-tone wrist corsage seen above and at right, Kevin began with a foundation of one-inch silver flat wire and covered it with ribbon that is scrunched all along the surface so that it provides folds and crevices for gluing (see our how-to photo on page 51). Then he glued dendrobium orchids and delphinium florets directly to the ribbon with floral adhesive, with button wire to add the finishing touch. MARCH 2014 45

fun f ancy


RED, BRIGHT corsage at

AND BLUE For the multicolored wrist left, Kevin made a custom bracelet: he took a

quantity of red, pink and blue aluminum wire—about six feet of each color—and crushed it into an elongated shape, just the right length for a girl’s wrist, then flattened the shape with his hands. The wire bracelet provides a good surface for gluing. Kevin added florets and Flutterz (feathers with rhinestones attached) with floral adhesive, dipping the stems in the adhesive before inserting them into the floral cluster. Flowers include pink spray roses, delphinium florets, and Blue Bomb dendrobiums. ORANGE PLUS Above, one-inch flat wire in copper, with the ends rolled, makes an attractive and affordable bracelet foundation for a wrist corsage with orange flowers. To prepare the smooth surface of the flat wire for adding flowers, Kevin added a UGlu Strip and spirals of flat wire; he also wrapped button wire around a part of the bracelet. The last step is to add the flowers and gold leaves, first dipping the stems into floral adhesive. SPARKLE WITH WINGS Fitz Design bracelets come with a patented, clear plastic pad attached; the pad can be utilized or removed depending on your design preference. At right, phalaenopsis blooms, a white dendrobium blossom, and silver leaves are all glued to the pad with floral adhesive, while the silver butterflies come on clips that are simply clipped to the pad. MARCH 2014 47

fun f ancy


SILHOUETTES Flower shapes fashioned from aluminum wire add an airy dimension and reinforce the strong color scheme for the corsage at left and above, as well as providing a foundation for gluing mokara orchid petals and mini succulents. Kevin “sewed� the wire flowers to a beaded elastic bracelet using thin metallic wire like thread; then he glued his fresh materials to the wire flowers using floral adhesive. WIRED FOR STYLE Decorative wire alone, without any adhesive, was employed to create the hair ornament at right. Kevin began by shaping one long piece of Diamond Wire into a crescent shape with leaves on either side, using needle-nose pliers. He added more silver leaves, simply by inserting and twisting the stems. Finally, the mini calla stems are slipped into a loop in the wire that holds them securely. MARCH 2014 49

fun f ancy FUN AND FANCY BOUTONNIERES Clockwise from top left: Three staggered lengths of silver chain dangle from an elegant boutonniere fashioned from a dusty miller leaf, a snippet of matte gold one-inch flat wire, a white button, and two yellow hypericum berries. Twin white dendrobium orchids are featured in a horizontal boutonniere with a loop of silver chain dangling below; this look could be created as a bout or as a pocket square. The orchids are backed with a galax leaf; between them is a medallion made with Diamond Wire in black and silver; the foundation is a horizontal length of one-inch flat wire in silver. Next, craspedia (“billy buttons”) emerge from the top of a Pipezz Boutonniere Holder that has been tricked out with coils of silver aluminum wire. The Grecian Boutonniere is backed with flat wire and decked on top with a single mokara orchid and twin blades of lily grass. Segments of silver flat wire, glued together, form an arty triangle that supports a mini succulent glued to one corner with a “ribbon” of lily grass. Finally, a narrow medallion made with alternating strips of white and black midollino forms a backdrop for a pearl brooch and Diamante pin, plus three white hyacinth florets. The medallion is made with UGlu and can be adhered directly to the boy’s jacket (see the opposite page for a how-to).


how-to’s STEAM PUNK, page 38 As seen at near right, you can make your own wide and stylish foundation bracelet by joining two pieces of one-inch flat wire together with a shorter piece of flat wire and a UGlu Strip. Lay the two longer strips of flat wire side by side, remove the paper backing from one side of a UGlu Strip, and place it on top, then remove the paper from the other side and cover the UGlu Strip with the shorter piece of flat wire. Before you begin, roll the ends of all the flat wire segments with needle-nose pliers, for a decorative finish and to keep them from cutting into the girl’s wrist. FUN AND FANCY BOUTONNIERES, page 50 Make a boutonniere medallion from alternating stems of white and black midollino by applying the stems to a UGlu Strip, as seen at far upper right, with the protective paper removed from the top but not the bottom of the strip. Trim the ends as seen at far left—rounded on the top, chevron angle at the bottom. Add the brooch and diamante pin and three hyacinth florets with floral adhesive. Supply the boutonniere with the protective paper still on the back. With the paper removed, the bout will adhere directly to a boy’s jacket. The UGlu can be pulled off the jacket later on without damaging the fabric. PRETTY IN PINK, page 40 Use needle-nose pliers to add coils to a length of aluminum wire, round or flat, as seen at center right. To do this, simply hold one end of the wire with the pliers and turn them, guiding the formation of a flat disk with your other hand. With a little practice you can do it very quickly. If you add coils, not only to the ends, but also into the middle of the wire (as seen), you end up with a long piece that can be wrapped around shorter pieces, incorporating different types of decorative wire, for a foundation bracelet with plenty of surfaces where flowers can be added with floral adhesive. FLUFFY BUTTONS, page 45 At right, here’s another simple and affordable bracelet foundation: Roll a piece of one-inch flat wire tightly at the ends. Add UGlu Strips and scrunched ribbon, and you have the perfect ruffled surface for gluing flowers onto the bracelet with floral adhesive. Simply dip the stem ends into the adhesive, then insert them into the nooks and crannies of the ribbon.

MARCH 2014 51

Your Y L



A portrait in facts and figures.


ast year, prom spending rose for the second straight year, to a nationwide average of $1,139 per family—a 5% increase over 2012. That’s according to a survey by Visa Inc. from last April, which also pointed to some regional and economic variances: • The average in the Midwest was $722. • The average in the West was $1,079. • The average in the South was $1,203. • The average in the Northeast was $1,528. Less-affluent families (with incomes of less than $50,000 a year) actually planned to spend more than the national average, at $1,245. Most of the expense (59%) is borne by

parents, with the teens themselves paying for only 41%. Where and when will these big spenders do their shopping? The remaining statistics on these pages come from a survey conducted by TeenPROM magazine and its publisher, Hearst. By the way, the survey revealed that 79% of prom customers (more than four in five girls) were influenced by prom magazines. They referred to the magazines, on average, 13 times before the big event—and shared copies with their friends. So, if you want to understand today’s prom customer, your first step should be to purchase a copy of TeenPROM, Seventeen Prom, or the closest thing to it you can find on a newstand.

Other 19%

Department store 19% Prom/bridal store 44%

Boutique specialty store 16%

Online 16%

WHERE WILL THEY BUY? If you exchange referrals or do any sort of joint marketing with other vendors for prom, a prom and bridal specialty store is a good bet. Girls shop for dresses at a variety of venues— usually more than one. But 91% say that among other types of store, they will at least look for a dress at a prom and bridal store. And 44% say they plan to actually buy their dress from such a store—which places this type of store well ahead of competing dress retailers.



DRESS-STYLE TRENDS In the TeenPROM survey, across the country, girls expressed a preference on average for long dresses and solid colors over other styles. A strapless neckline was the choice for about three out of five girls, with a one-shoulder style as the next favorite. One out of every three prom-dress purchases is inspired by celebrity fashions, especially on the red carpet at the Oscars or other award ceremonies, like the Grammys or MTV awards.


Month of eventt Mo April 13% 3 Maay 68%

Month of event Apri Ap rill ri 38% May 47% %


Bougght dress Febrruary 28% Marc Ma rchh rc 36% Apriil 21%

Month of event Mo nt Aprill 38% May 50% Bougght h dress Febrrua uary 9% March 40% 0 April 32% %

Boug ught ug h dreess Febr b uary 22% 2 M rch Ma 42% 2 April 27%

S O UT H Month of eve vent April 46% May 46% Boug Bo ught ug ht dre ht r ss Februaryy 24% M rch Ma 38 8% % A ril Ap 24%


IT’S ALL ABOUT THE DRESS Flower planning and purchasing is likely to come after a prom girl has decided on her dress. When does that happen? It varies—but, quite a bit in advance: • May is the biggest month for proms around the country, with a significant number of proms happening in April, especially in the South. • More than half of all girls going to a prom start shopping for a dress three months or more ahead of the prom, though a significant number wait until only one or two months ahead. • March is the biggest month for actually buying the dress, but many make the purchase in February or April.

TAKING CARE OF THE BOYS In the TeenPROM survey, nearly all respondents said they would expect their dates to go formal and to coordinate accessories (e.g., tie and pocket handkerchief) to match the girl’s dress. Three in five (60%) plan to pick out those accessories themselves. Four in five (79%) will buy their date a boutonniere, spending an average of $30 on it.

Under $10 2%

$50$59.99 10%

$60 or more 6%

$10$19.99 18%


$30$39.99 19%

$20$29.99 38% Average $30 MARCH 2014 53

11/22/13 12:44 PM

shop profile

by Marianne Cotter

Photography by Peter Tata Photography

Dr. Delphinium Designs and Events

What happens when a business guy turns florist? Beauty, style— and profits.


hen Charles Ingrum graduated from the University of North Texas in 1994, with a degree in business computer information systems, he had “not a clue that I would ever be a florist,” he says. “At the time I thought I would be a software developer.” Today, however, he is widely regarded as one of the nation’s top experts on floralbusiness management. He sits on the board of directors for the Society of American Florists and is on the advisory board for RTI, Teleflora’s top-of-the-line point-of-sale system

for managing multibbusiness practices location shops. The tthat help to make Dr. Dallas, Texas Delphinium profitshop he purchased a D little more than ten years aable, at the heart of it Owner: Charles Ingrum ago, Dr. Delphinium aall is a philosophy of Niche: Everyday business, Designs and Events, is ““serving, not selling, corporate, events now part of a larger flotthe customer.” ral and events business Space: 2500 square feet BUSINESS AS AN that employs 64 people B Staff: 64 ART FORM Charles and includes a separate A 10,000-square-foot eentered the industry design center, plus a ssideways when he warehouse and greenppurchased Dr. Delhouse, in addition to the pphinium, already a well-established shop, original, 2500-square foott from a business partner who was the shop’s retail store. Recently, Charles purchased another well- landlord. “I hadn’t worked in the flower busiknown flower shop, Gunter’s Greenhouse in ness before, but I learned by helping to manthe affluent Dallas suburb of Richardson, age the shop for about six months before I Texas, which will be folded into the Dr. Del- bought it,” says Charles. “I am not a designer phinium brand. What’s his secret? It’s never just one Green plants, orchids and loose stems in thing, of course. But while Charles can point buckets dominate the spacious storefront at to a multitude of innovative and competitive Dr. Delphinium Designs and Events.

MARCH 2014 55

shop profile


myself. My staff would have a laugh watching me trying to design a flower arrangement. My art form is in Excel, not flowers. But I hire very smart, very talented people.” Once in the industry, Charles dove in full bore, reading magazines and soaking up every bit of education he could find, joining the Society of American Florists and attending its national conferences. Eventually he found ways to expand and differentiate his business. When customers enter Dr. Delphinium’s retail store today they find themselves immersed in the ambiance of a European flower market, with buckets of fresh stems alongside plenty of orchids and green plants. Designers are, of course, on hand—but meanwhile, arrangements for delivery are created elsewhere, at the design center, which also houses a call center and designated sales staff for corporate flowers and special events. TRAINING UP DESIGNERS While Charles describes the shop’s design work as higher end, he points out that the shop has no minimum for delivery and uses industry standard mark-ups. The distinction is made with the floral selection and design style. The shop favors prestige, premium flowers and a “modern European” style, which Charles describes as “less or no filler and more tightly mounded face flowers. “We have developed our own training program for new designers,” he continues. “A new employee who is more seasoned might go through the program in a couple of weeks; for someone else, who doesn’t have as much experience but who we feel does have the right attitude and ability, it might Colorful paper lanterns and ornaments set the tone for well-coordinated merchandising at the retail store—which is, however, only one aspect of the shop’s overall operations, complemented by a separate 10,000-square-foot design center. A liquor license makes it possible for the shop to include wine in gift baskets and a wine rack next to the sales counter.

MARCH 2014 57

shop profile


take 12 weeks. They’re working while they do that, and they have a mentor. One aspect of the program might be doing almost all the rose arrangements we send out for an entire week—a complete immersion in roses.” SERVICE FIRST Key to Charles’s business philosophy is a customer service model based on that promulgated by Nordstrom: “It involves two principles,” he says. “First, hire really smart people. Second, take away all the rules, so these really smart employees are empowered to make decisions on their own. We don’t have a policy for handling refunds or replacements. It doesn’t exist. Instead, we just ask that our smart people use their best judgment when a customer satisfaction issue comes up. Our staff knows they can work freely if they have good reasons for making a decision. “The secret to good customer service is something people learn from their parents,” Charles continues; “we can’t actually teach it. But we provide guidelines, and tell them to make sure they listen carefully and record the information appropriately. We have to make customers happy, no matter what. It costs way too much money to get the customer in the door the first time, not to have them come back.” Integral to that goal is the idea of serving rather than selling. “What you won’t see here is a bunch of discounts and coupons that are designed to sell, but don’t really serve the customer,” says Charles. “Our entire effort goes into making sure that if it comes from Dr. Delphinium, you know it’s going to be correct, it’s going to look fantastic and you won’t have to worry about it.”

GETTING THE WORD OUT That’s not to say that sales functions are neglected at Dr. Delphinium. On the contrary: the approach to sales is aggressive, structured, and targeted. The sales department is divided into five groups: retail sales on the floor, telephone sales, corporate sales, event sales, and a special services group that handles VIP customers, mainly residential. A high priority is likewise given to marketing, including social media. “We take that pretty seriously here,” says Charles. “We like to interact with our customers. We have more than 5,000 Facebook likes. We try to post something every day, including customer comments and daily specials.” A staff member is assigned to spearhead social media efforts, although that is only a small part of that person’s job. The shop is also an active email marketer, sending out an email blast once every two weeks, and more frequently close to major holidays.

really got our expenses under control, which set us on a better business path. Today we have exceeded our pre-recession revenues and profits.” For the future, Charles has taken the time to develop a five-year plan. “It’s pretty detailed,” he explains. “Not only do we feel our core business is going to grow over the next five years, but we’re branching out and getting into more gift baskets and baked goods. On our website you’ll see a gift basket section where we partnered with a local bakery. We’re also pushing our event business.” How do you create a strategic plan for growth? “You begin by taking a realistic look at the present,” says Charles. “Then you look at where you want to be in five years, and trace the steps. It’s important to keep the plan simple to communicate. And you know that it will require adjustment along the way.” Growth may not be certain, even with a plan—but planning goes a long way to boost your chances for success. b

PLANNING FOR SUCCESS “When the recession hit, it was the first time we had been down on sales since I joined the company,” Charles remembers. “We had been on a huge growth pattern, so it was tough. But in retrospect, it made us a better company. We took a huge hit, and we lost some employees—but we

Facilities at Dr. Delphinium also include a 2,500-square-foot greenhouse and garden center. Having engineered a robust recovery for the shop from the recession, owner Charles Ingrum has made a five-year plan for expansion that includes a partnership with a local bakery and a continued emphasis on sales, marketing, and service.

MARCH 2014 59

profit boosters

In a new monthly column, TeamFloral founder Dan McManus talks with successful shop owners about their strategies.

by Dan McManus

The average sale is higher, and customers are happier, after this shop changed how the staff takes phone orders. DAVE MITCHELL AND his parents operate one of the most successful shops in the Midwest. That’s today. The shop went through some tough times in the 2000s—even before the recession hit. When Dave took over the leadership role from his parents in 2005, his goal was to return the shop to the level of success they had enjoyed in the 1980s and 1990s. Like many shops, Mitchell’s Flower Shop acquired some debt over the past decade. That put Dave on edge. Determined to get back on course, he came to TeamFloral and began the process of reshaping the business. The results have been remarkable. Dave has managed to reach full profitability by tracking key percentages and being willing to make unpopular—but necessary—decisions about labor and fresh flower costs. He also persuaded his employees to change some die-hard habits about how they go about taking orders. In the past few years, Mitchell’s has expanded while the industry is contracting. The shop has grown by increasing the average sale both on the phone and over the web. Recently, they purchased a second location. I spoke to Dave about what makes his shops run so well. The average sales on both your web sites are amazingly high. Is it real? I’m even surprised myself how high it has grown. We started encouraging our customers to buy premium arrangements and they responded in a very positive way. We stock

a range of prices on the web site but more in the $100-plus range and only a few under $60. Aren’t you afraid that you might lose orders? We might miss a few lower-end orders but nothing significant. I believe that the website sets the standard for the shop’s sales. We suggest premium sales and our customers love them. We feel that featuring our best stuff shows that we are a more creative and professional shop. Also, the lower-priced items are where we get complaints. Why work for lower margins and lower customer satisfaction when you have a choice?

Sounds like you found some unexpected benefits. Yes. It is easier and more efficient to sell when you use the method. Once everyone gets in the habit, it is more comfortable selling on the phone. Our customers who are getting premium arrangements are thrilled with the result. It is a win for the sender, for the recipient and for us. What is your favorite sales line? “Our most popular”—it works so well! What is a marketing tool that you would never give up? Reminding our customers I am still here and that I am their florist. We reach out as much as possible to current and previous customers. I go back to everyone who has purchased in the past two years. I learned from TeamFloral that mailing to existing customers really works.

Your average sale has increased not just on the web site but also on the phone and for in-shop sales. After years of just “taking orders,” we woke up to the value of controlling the sales process. We became proactive. We now offer recommendaMitchell’s Flower Shop, Orland Park, Illinois tions based on the customer’s situation instead of asking 2012 2013 for a budget. Importantly, we Annual sales $660,000 $1 million start with a premium-priced Profitability - 0% 10%+ recommendation. Many cusAverage web sale* $89.17 $112.33 tomers accept our recom$85.05 $94.33 Average shop sale* mendation. Some steer us to * includes tax and delivery a lower-priced item, which we POS system: Dove are happy to provide. The goal Web host: Teleflora with TeamFloral template is to let them know what was Website: possible and let them make a Association membership: SAF choice. Before, very few cusMedian income of population in Orland Park: $77,863 tomers even knew we did arrangements over $100. Was changing how you take orders difficult to do? The process we adopted is based on a sales training program that we learned from TeamFloral. It’s very straightforward: you ask for the enclosure-card information and make a recommendation based on that. The hard part was getting “buy in” from my employees. Not everyone saw the need for change; there was a lot of “We know what we’re doing.” But pretty quickly that passed, and now I have a great sales team. The difference is night and day for our customers—and for our profitability.

What’s the most important advice you can give to a shop owner struggling with profitability? Know the numbers that matter. There are only a few, so track them yourself, without having to rely on a bookkeeper or accountant. What do you track manually? Fresh COGS [cost of goods sold] weekly. My fresh flower costs stay between 18 and 21 percent of my flower sales. If my numbers are high, I can address it immediately with my designers. They have learned that I am serious about staying on budget and play a

MARCH 2014 61

profit boosters big role in controlling costs. I set my staffing level to match what I anticipate in sales based on the same month last year. Every payday, I measure what percentage of sales I paid out in labor. My goal is keep non-owner payroll to 20% of sales. If it is high, I know right away and make adjustments. I also keep a close eye on shop sales and web sales. Without those numbers, I’m driving blind. Isn’t there a need to balance art and business? It is true that “pretty” is what we sell—but I have to know what it costs if I want anything left over to run the business. It is always a balancing act but, today, we do pretty well on that. What sets your shop apart from your competitors? I think the most significant aspect is fair value. We work hard to shape the customer’s perception and then we work even harder to exceed those expectations. The customer’s

62 www.flowersandmagazine.comersand

perceived value is everything. For example, when we place a Teleflora arrangement on our web site, we usually add $20 to the suggested retail price. Then, we add $20 more in cut flowers. When the item is delivered, it is even more beautiful than the picture, and that thrills our customer. You can’t be afraid to sell up. Customers love us when we do. Tell me something about you that few people know. I’m a serious scouter. I have taken advance training, can tie seven types of knots and look good in khakis. What is the first thing you do at the shop every morning? Turn on the computer and check orders. Tech oriented tasks while it is quiet. What’s the best thing about being a shop owner? The flexible schedule and the freedom. To be sure, florists pay a price at holiday time.

But, at other times I can easily schedule an employee when I want time off. I love the freedom of being able to make things happen. As the owner, I have the ability to do things right away, to act on new ideas that make sense. The worst thing about being a shop owner? There is not really anything I would say is “the worst.” The most challenging aspect for me is the responsibility. You wake up early in the morning with decisions that have to be made, including some that will have a great impact—on employees, on your shop’s reputation. The other tough part is that the shop runs my life around the holidays. Outside the shop, what are you passionate about? I’m all about kids and family. I go scouting with my son and support my daughter’s volleyball playing. I’m committed to date night with my wonderful wife. b

where to buy For more information on merchandise featured in Flowers&, contact the supplier directly. Direct links to most suppliers can be found on the Flowers& website, Use the links under “Advertisers in This Issue” or the link to our searchable, online Buyers’ Guide at the top of the Flowers& home page.

SILHOUETTES, page 48-49 Purple beaded bracelet, Fitz Design.

WIRED FOR STYLE, page 49 Diamond wire, Smithers-Oasis. Silver leaves (two kinds), Fitz Design.


ON THE COVER Glass plate vase and crinkle paper, Accent Décor.

pg 30

Single Pearl brooch, Diamante pin, midollino in black and white, silver chain, decorative wire, and UGlu, Smithers-Oasis. Grecian Boutonniere and Pipezz Boutonniere Holder, Fitz Design.

FOCUS ON DESIGN, pages 10-11 Brooches and buckles, Spot On stems, and Aurora handle, Fitz Design. Bouquet stand, Smithers-Oasis.

PRINCIPLES & ELEMENTS, page 14 Hala leaves and mokara orchids, Green Point. Urban Planter (painted gold), Accent Décor.



pages 36-51

page 43

Prom dresses throughtout, Alfred Angelo. Decorative wire, midollino, silver and black chain, Diamante pins, UGlu and Oasis Floral Adhesive used throughout, Smithers-Oasis.

Lotus Scepter and Starbrite rhinestone flowers, Fitz Design. Diamante brooches, Smithers-Oasis.


FEATURED SUPPLIERS Accent Décor, Inc. Call 800-385-5114 or visit

page 44

Glimmer Collection bracelet and Gold Rose Leaves, Fitz Design. Cosmic Gold ribbon, Lion Ribbon.

Rhinestone bracelets, Bubble Bucklezz jeweled circle, and Kara’s Kisses Regal Rhinestone sprays, Fitz Design. Diamante brooches, Smithers-Oasis.

Alfred Angelo. To find a nearby store, visit


Mega Beads, button wire, and decorative wire throughout, Smithers-Oasis.


page 45

page 38


Flutterzz (feathers with attached rhinestones), Vintage Lace, and Rocker Collection bracelet, Fitz Design.

One-inch flat wire and button wire, Smithers-Oasis.

Burton + Burton. Call 800-241-2094 or visit


page 26 Tapered Squares in galvanized tin, Syndicate Sales.

THE BIG EASY, page 36


RED, BRIGHT AND BLUE, page 46 Flutterzz (feathers with attached rhinestones) in red and blue, Fitz Design.


page 39

page 27

Floral Necklace, jeweled ornaments, and Wingzz butterfly, Fitz Design.



Button wire, Smithers-Oasis. “Chic” gold leaves, Fitz Design.

Brooches and Spot On stems, Fitz Design. Hobnail planter, Burton + Burton.

page 41

page 47

Quintet gem spray and Flutterzz (feathers with attached rhinestones), Fitz Design.


Glass plate vase and crinkle paper, Accent Décor.



Dazzleline Chain, Fitz Design.

“Sparklin’ ” wide diamond bracelet, Gleaming Leaves, and Wingzz silver butterflies on clips, Fitz Design.

page 28



Gold ceramic vase, Burton + Burton.

RISING SUN, page 30

page 41



Girl’s Best Friend Flower Bracelet and Calla Boutonniere, Fitz Design. Pearl Cluster brooches, Smithers-Oasis.

Faux birch branches, Sullivans. Wool fabric in ivory, Accent Décor.

Green Point Nurseries. Call 800-717-4456 or visit Lion Ribbon. Call 800-551-LION or visit Smithers-Oasis. Call 800-321-8286 or visit Sullivans, Inc. Call 800-456-4568 or visit

page 42 Glimmer Collection black metal bracelets, Fitz Design.

Urban Planter in matte gray, Accent Décor.

page 35

page 47

Fitz Design. Call 800-500-2120 or visit

Syndicate Sales. Call 800-428-0515 or visit

page 42

pg 45

MARCH 2014 63

industry events NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL MARCH 10-14, WASHINGTON, DC SAF Congressional Action Days, Capitol Hill. Call Laura Weaver at the Society of American Florists, 800-336-4743, or visit

JUNE 10-11, CHICAGO, IL SAF Retail Growth Solutions: A Mini-Conference for Florists. Call the Society of American Florists at 800-336-4743 or visit

JUNE 18-24, DALLAS, TX Holiday and Home Expo (temporary exhibitors, June 19-22), Dallas Market Center. Call 800-DAL-MKTS or visit

JULY 3-7, CHICAGO, IL AIFD (American Institute of Floral Designers) National Symposium, Hilton Hotel. Call 410-752-3318 or visit

AUGUST 13-16, MARCO ISLAND, FL SAF Annual Convention. Call the Society of American Florists at 800-336-4743 or visit




Indiana Unit, Every Day’s a Holiday with Tom Simmons, Kennicott Brothers. Call Nina Peterson at 812-275-6422.

Northeast Louisiana Florist Association, program includes Everyday Designs with Cindy Tole, West Monroe Convention Center. Call Christine Cosby at 318-267-2350.

MARCH 23, PIERRE, SD South Dakota Florists Association, program includes Sympathy Designs with Jerome Raska, Ramkota Inn. Call Jenny Behlings at 605-673-3549.

MARCH 26-28, CHICAGO, IL World Floral Expo USA, Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont. Visit

MARCH 30, ROCKFORD, IL Bill Doran Company, Sympathy Designs with Susan Ayala, Rockford Clocktower Resort. Call Vonda LaFever at 815-440-8995.

NORTHEAST REGION MARCH 8-9, GROTON, CT Northeast Floral Expo, Mystic Marriott Hotel. Call the Connecticut Florists Association at 800-352-6946 or visit

MARCH 12, PATCHOGUE, NY MARCH 2, CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO Lewis & Clark Unit, Everyday Designs with Bert Ford, Baisch & Skinner. Call Justin DeGonia at 573-785-4562.

MARCH 7-9, SPRINGFIELD, IL Illinois State Florist Association, program includes Wedding Designs (3/9) with Joyce MasonMonheim, Crowne Plaza Hotel. Call Frankie Peltiere at 314-740-0338.

MARCH 7-9, GRAND RAPIDS, MI Great Lakes Floral Expo, program includes Wedding Hands-On Workshop (3/8) and Permanents for the Home Stage Presentation (3/9) with Darla Pawlak, Amway Grand Plaza Hotel and DeVos Place. Call Rod Crittenden at the Michigan Floral Association at 517-575-0110 or visit

MARCH 9, WICHITA, KS Valley Floral Company, Spring Open House with Kevin Ylvisaker, Valley Floral Co. Call Jerry Yocum at 800-657-2553.


Big Apple Unit, Wedding Designs with John Hosek, American Legion Hall. Call Andrea Lawlor at 631-475-4894.

MARCH 16, WATERVILLE, ME Maine Unit, How to Survive in Today’s Economy with Jerome Raska, T & B Celebration Center. Call Monica Theberge at 207-725-2461.

MARCH 19, LANSDALE, PA Penn Jersey Unit, Mechanics of Design with John Hosek, Younger & Son Wholesale. Call Renee Tucci at 215-699-2207.


JULY 18-20, AUSTIN, TX Texas State Florists’ Association, Annual Convention, program includes Tropical Handson Workshop (7/18) with Gerard Toh, Salute to Education (7/19) with Rich Salvaggio, Tropical Designs (7/20) with Gerard Toh, The Renaissance Hotel. Call Dianna Nordman at 512-834-0361 or visit

SOUTHEAST REGION MARCH 2, MONTGOMERY, AL Alabama Unit, Wedding Designs with John Hosek, Horton Wholesale. Call Earl Goodwin at 800-884-9598.

MARCH 2, NORFOLK, VA Colonial Virginia Unit, Wedding/Body Flowers with Joyce Mason-Monheim, Norfolk Botanical Gardens. Call Stephen Morrin at 757-404-2747.

APRIL 4-6, ST. SIMONS, GA AIFD Southern Conference, Sea Palms Golf and Tennis Resort. Call 410-752-3318 or visit

APRIL 6, LIBERTY, NC North Carolina Unit, Wedding Designs with Vonda LaFever, Hardin’s Wholesale. Call Tracy Snelbaker at 704-357-1308.

WESTERN REGION MARCH 8-9, SAN BERNARDINO, CA AIFD Southwest Chapter, “Love Is in the Air” Workshop (3/8) and Wedding Program (3/9), National Orange Show Events Center. Call Michael Quesada at 805-996-0302 or visit



Mississippi Unit, Profitable Designs with Darla Pawlak, Central Mississippi Wholesale. Call Kevin Hinton at 800-748-9848.

Montana Big Sky Unit, Prom Corsages/Spring Flower Designs with Julie Poeltler, Great Falls Civic Center. Call Leslie Darling at 406-892-4069.

MARCH 11, PHOENIX, AZ Arizona Unit, Wedding Designs with Gerard Toh, S & S Floral. Call Martha Deyden at 480-430-8833.

MARCH 16, WINDSOR, CO Rocky Mountain Unit, Wedding Designs with Joyce Mason-Monheim, Austin’s Homestead. Call Peggie Lipps at 970-686-2400.

Now We’re Everywhere... Run an Ad in Flowers& and Join Us!

advertiser links To access our advertisers’ websites, go to and click on “Advertisers in This Issue.” ACOLYTE TECHNOLOGIES CORP.



Call Peter @ 800-421-4921


















877-530-TREE (8733)
















PIONEER IMPORTS & WHOLESALE __FEB__2014___shopprofile-wedit.indd 4



21 12/27/13 9:01 AM















Welcome to our Library.

Flowers& Subscribers!

Did you know you can read past and current issues online? Find out how! Go to the digital library link at











9, 23





MARCH 2014 65

what’s in store

IN THE PINK Hand-blown with a hand-cut spiral, the glass vase featured in Teleflora’s Pink Bliss Bouquet—the nationally advertised Star for Mother’s Day—beautifully underscores flowers in all shades of pink, for any occasion, all year long. Call 800-333-0205 or visit

LIGHT UP THE NIGHT Imagine having a product that will make fresh flowers glow in the dark! This new product comes in two parts: a spray-on solution and an illuminating chip that lasts approximately 11 hours from the time it is turned on. Two colors are available: green and scarlet red. For more information, visit


RUSTIC ELEGANCE In line with current trends, new wedding accessories from Lillian Rose combine burlap, lace, rhinestones, pearls, ribbons and feathers for a delightful contrast of textures within a unifying color scheme. They include a 7.5-inch bouquet and a basket for carrying petals. Call 800-521-8760 or visit

VASE JEWELRY Beaded garlands from Sullivans make a quick and easy way to dress up a clear glass vase and support any color scheme. Lightweight and translucent, the garlands are available in a wide variety of colors (solid and mixed), finishes and lengths. Call 800-456-4568 or visit


To advertise in Emporium contact Peter Lymbertos at 800-421-4921


Advertise in

COLUMN DESIGNS LIGHT-WEIGHT plastic decorative Columns


These affordable, portable custom height columns are great for special events such as weddings or banquets.

emporium it works!

• • • •

For rates and info, call Peter Lymbertos

Light-weight Portable! Decorative Roman Columns Great For Special Events! Leave White or Paint Any Color!

at 800-421-4921

Give me a call 866-461-7978 if you need additional info.



In our third decade of performing confidential key employee searches for the floriculture industry and allied 14125 Detroit Ave., Lakewood OH 44107 trades worldwide. Retained basis only. Candidate contact welcome, confidential, and always free. 1740 Lake Markham Rd., Sanford, FL 32771


" ! ! " ! " # ## $$$ ! " !

4800 Dahlia, Denver CO 80216 800-858-9854; 303-388-7377 Classroom or Home Study Courses Visit our website for more info approved by Co. Dept. of Higher Ed.

Hitomi Gilliam AIFD

E Q Creative U I P M E N T Design Study Group

WEDDINGS John Toomey Co

(800) 421-0052

Wedding Aisle Runners Rentals & Sales

UPS Shipments

Flowers& Subscribers!

Did you know you can read past and current issues online? Find out how! Go to the digital library link at

White Cotton Runners

Search the Flowers&


online! Available year-round at

MARCH 2014 67

wholesaler connection

ATTENTION Flowers& magazine distributors


ARIZONA PHOENIX Conroy Wholesale Florist The Roy Houff Company CALIFORNIA FRESNO Designer Flower Center INGLEWOOD American Magazines & Books OAKLAND Piazza International Floral SACRAMENTO Flora Fresh SAN BERNARDINO Inland Wholesale Flowers SAN DIEGO San Diego Florist Supplies SANTA ROSA Sequoia Floral International FLORIDA PENSACOLA American Floral Wholesale of Pensacola Carlstedt’s, LLC GEORGIA OMEGA Hornbuckle Wholesale Florist HAWAII HONOLULU Flora-Dec Sales ILLINOIS CHICAGO Bill Doran Company The Roy Houff Company NORMAL The Roy Houff Company WHEELING The Roy Houff Company

KANSAS WICHITA Valley Floral Company KENTUCKY LOUISVILLE The Roy Houff Company LOUISIANA BATON ROUGE Louisiana Wholesale Florists LAFAYETTE Louisiana Wholesale Florists MASSACHUSETTS BOSTON Jacobson Floral Supply MICHIGAN WARREN Nordlie, Inc. MINNESOTA MINNEAPOLIS Koehler and Dramm ROSEVILLE North American Wholesale Florist, Inc. MISSOURI ST LOUIS LaSalle Wholesale Florist NEW YORK CAMPBELL HALL Henry C. Alders OHIO DAYTON Nordlie, Inc. NORTH CANTON Canton Wholesale Floral PARMA Cleveland Plant & Flower Company

PENNSYLVANIA PITTSBURGH Keystone Ribbon & Floral Pittsburgh Cut Flower Company SOUTH DAKOTA SIOUX FALLS North American Wholesale Florist, Inc.

we promise!

TENNESSEE NASHVILLE The Roy Houff Company TEXAS DALLAS American Agroproducts, Inc. HOUSTON Pikes Peak of Texas Southern Floral Company LUBBOCK Lubbock Wholesale Florist UTAH SALT LAKE CITY Ensign Wholesale Floral VIRGINIA NORFOLK The Roy Houff Company RICHMOND The Roy Houff Company WASHINGTON TACOMA Washington Floral Service CANADA BURNABY, BC Kirby/Signature Floral Supply

Sell Flowers& in your store! for extra profits Select any quantity— no minimum Whatever you don’t sell we buy back! Yes, it really is that simple.

Call Elinor Cohen at 800-321-2665

MALAYSIA SELANGOR Worldwide Floral Services SINGAPORE Worldwide Floral Services


Reward without the Risk

Visit us online for a taste of Flowers& quality.

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.